Movember Mustachioed Cupcakes

Mustachioed Cupcakes

One of our work Twitter followers, @shortorder, suggested we make Guinness Gasm cupcakes for Movember, to get everyone excited for an especially hairy month. The Guinness Gasm is a chocolate Guinness cupcake with a Bailey's Irish creme frosting. Irish cupcake heaven, if you ask me. Check out the recipe at SF Food Wars.

tiny handlebar

Over the weekend, Christine (pictured above) baked mini cupcakes and made the icing while I cut out a bunch of tiny moustaches and hot glued them to toothpicks. We figured tiny cupcakes would let us feed the masses.

moustache against floral

This post really should have gone out 2 months ago, sorry if any of your Movember festivities proved lacking without the Guinness Gasm. I'm pretty sure they're also tasty in months that don't end in "ovember."


I made some extra paper mustaches for co-workers who had trouble growing their own.

Movember Mosaic

Diamond Sweater Day

Today was Diamond Sweater Day at work. Alex (pictured without diamond sweater) has an epic knitted sweater that he refuses to wear. So, for his birthday, I cut out a bunch of black and blue diamonds and had a bunch of people wear grey sweaters so we could recreate this famed "Diamond Sweater" with our own. After cries of "Kathy, I hate you! I'm burning that sweater" I like to think he accepted our shenanigans and had a pretty good work birthday.

*Note: This picture really over-represents the prevalence of women and Asian Americans in the company. Also, a few diamond sweater-clad co-workers were unable to be pictured here. There was overwhelming support of the Diamond Sweater and we hope to welcome its return in January 2010.

Diamond Sweater + Sombrero

This is the original diamond sweater, the one and only.



Phuong's 2+6 (not 8)

I've been super busy lately. The last month (actually, the last 2 months) have been full of birthdays, weekend trips, habanero video, Texas football, and a huge project at work. Sorry for the lack of daily blogs. I hope you can forgive me.

I went on a road trip to Houston for Phuong's birthday. It was a celebration of Phuong turning 26, Melissa's return to Texas, and a good excuse to have a high school girls mini reunion.

We started off with a lunch at Coco's Crepes where i had a whole wheat savory crepe full of roasted veggies and goat cheese with great wine based sauce. There were so many veggie choices, I had a hard time choosing. I'll have to go back to try on of their delicious sounding dessert crepes. Speaking of crepes, this reminds me that I still need to go to Flip Happy in Austin.



A dangerous left turn took us successfully to Phuong and Hieu's (mostly Hieu's) new house. As a shell, it was jaw-droppingly beautiful. Black lacquered wood floors. Cue the clouds opening to heaven music.


I can't wait to see how it will look once they've moved in (aka full of the other love of my life, furniture).

built by James

That afternoon was BYOC (build your own chair). Being a kind gentleman, James built us some IKEA Snille chairs.

After the ooohhing and ahhhing subsided we got pedis -- James even agreed to go with us, got dressed up, went out for Vietnamese food at Jasmine, where Wendy and Eric joined us. Known for serving Seven Courses of Beef, my path at Jasmine led directly to "vegetable dish."

We then confused ourselves with a few homophones and met a guy who sold hair products marketed to African Americans. NOTE: chances of finding Rain when you should be looking for Reign are rare especially when you've never seen or heard of such places. Also, designers need to make sign fonts visible from a distance. Scripts fonts are often less than visible.

I had a great time playing with some of my best friends. It was well worth the 6 hours of travel time. Happy Birthday Phuongies you'll get your present whenever I take the initiative to go to the post office.

House Call: Katy and Lisa's Suburban Cool Home

(Images Lisa Skelton)

I met Katy three years ago when we were both interns at IKEA. She has amazed me with impeccable style and wit throughout the years. And her talent has graced the floors, tables, and conference rooms of Four Hands Home as a furniture designer. Katy and her sister Lisa bought a house together as a part bonding experience part smart investment. Their house expresses their personalities classic, glamorous, but still down to earth.

The Skelton sisters' house is light and crisp with bold splashes of color and dark woods. Treasures from around the globe lean comfortably against clean classic furnishings with a modern twist. Many of the pieces are Katy's creations while working at Four Hands, though I can spot a few IKEA influences -- the Ektorp sofa comes to mind. Against the Ektorp, a console table displays their collection of magazine books from the likes of Domino: The Book of Decorating and Andrea Linett and Kim France's The Lucky Shopping Manual are nestled against two bright pink Chinese lions.

Earlier this month Katy left Austin to pursue her Masters in Furniture Design at Savannah College of Art and Design leaving Lisa and the house in Austin. Lisa, the house, dog Trip McNealy, and I will all miss Katy while she's Georgia.

AT Survey:

Our style: We try to mix efficient design with classic styles. Great Northern Hotel (Twin Peaks) meets small space living.

Inspiration: Natural elements and materials; unique antiques; incorporating hand-me-downs in new ways.

Favorite Element: The river rock fireplace. Almost anything looks good next to it or on it. It also managed to keep us fairly warm and well-fed through a brutally cold winter.

Biggest Challenge: The shape of the room. It is a very large room, and has a half wall along one side. Its long and narrow and it was hard to figure out a good way to arrange the seating area. We finally pushed the chairs in front of the window and realized that we loved it!

What Friends Say: That we spend way too much time rearranging our furniture! Things look different every time someone comes over!

Biggest Embarrassment: The painting next to the TV isn't finished! I had to move to Savannah before I could finish it, so now it wont be done until I go home for Christmas! Sorry, Lisa!

Proudest DIY: All of our artwork! Its all either photos that we have taken, or pictures that we have painted.

Biggest Indulgence: That would be a question for Lisa, probably either the TV console or the TV itself...

Best advice: Keep moving things around until it feels right. You will know once you've got it in the perfect place. It took us a year and a half to figure out that we needed to push those chairs up against the window. Also, buy things for your house every time you go on a trip. We have vases from Egypt, bowls from Australia, and accessories from China. It makes your house tell a story about your life.

(Thanks Skelton ladies)

Custom Baby Tee

I crafted a custom baby t-shirt for my friend Aaron's baby. His nearly one year old is a size 24 months. I'm pretty sure Benjamin is going to be bigger than me at age 26 when he is age 3.
Aaron loves Tony Chachere's creole spice. Lucky for him, I happened to have some from the time I made veggie jambalaya.

This t-shirt is the most complicated one yet. I plan on making some [simpler] onesies for my Etsy store in the near future. Benjamin is just too much baby for a onesie.

During this adventure, I learned how hard it is to find a plain t-shirt for babies. For unclear reasons, blank shirts are both more expensive and harder to find for babies and toddlers. I had no idea. Baby clothes are such a foreign and tiny world.

We crafted like thugs

and divyed the loot. I had a great time with Sharon at the All Austin All Handmade bash. The event was to promote WonderCraft, a mobile craft studio that offers classes on the craft of crafting. WonderCraft also has a focus on community outreach through crafting.

We ate, we drank (Sweet Leaf Tea), we crafted. Oh yeah, we also posed for pictures. We tried to take a photo booth pics, but the the machine and I disagreed on what exactly is legal tender in the U.S.

Someone remind me to order small bites from Blue Note Bakery. K thx. The pistacho cake, strawberry, and orange ginger cake were all great. Sharon said the mini gourmet s'more was also delicious.